Sunday, February 26, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 204: Wicked Like A Wildfire, by Lana Popović

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

***Late Edition***
This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

Wicked Like A Wildfire 
(Hibiscus Daughter, Book 1)
 Lana Popović 
Hardcover, 416 pages
Katherine Tegen Books
August 15, 2017
   Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This is a very feminine, exquisite cover whose gentle beauty actually makes me love the color pink! As regular readers of this blog know, my favorite color is blue. However, I do love hot pink. It's the pale, pastel pink that I really don't care for. Although there are some touches of pale pink here, it's really the hot pink that predominates.

The background color is another of my favorites (after blue, of course!). It's the color purple. Interestingly, the darker tone of this color is the one that I prefer. I don't like lilac, which is light purple, that much. However, in this particular cover, it works well with the darker purple. I guess I just don't like pastel colors. I prefer very vibrant, strong colors.   They're like music to my eyes!! On the other hand, I do like the contrast of light and dark colors in this cover.

The stylized flowers, leaves, and branches are so graceful, so pretty.... They lead the eye all over the cover, as the viewer examines each and every flower. I also like the peacock-like flower in the lower left-hand corner, as well as the butterfly in the lower right-hand corner. I only wish that the butterfly were a bit more colorful.

The font used for the title is just as graceful and beautiful as the rest of the cover. It's obviously been influenced by the Art Deco style, which I love! Furthermore, its beauty has been enhanced by the calligraphic flourishes added to the two capital "W" letters, as well as by the ones on the other letters.

The addition of wheat stalks is interesting, as well as baffling. I wonder if they somehow have something to do with the plot. Or are they just ornamental?

Happily, I was able to get information about the brilliant cover artist! Her name is Lisa Perrin. She got her MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Illustration Practices from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Her numerous clients list includes such publishers as Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Macmillan, and Scholastic. She's also done work for "The Saturday Evening Post". Her work has achieved recognition by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, 3X3 Magazine, and Print Magazine.

And I see that my list of favorite book cover artists and designers just keeps growing and growing!

Online Links


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tour Spotlight: Legacy of the Mind, by H.R. Moore

Welcome to the Legacy of the Mind Blog Tour, sponsored by
YA Bound Book Tours!!

For my post, I'm featuring a mini-review 
and excerpt.
There's also a tour-wide giveaway!!

Legacy of the Mind
(The Legacy Trilogy, Book 1)
H.R. Moore
Trade Paperback, 260 pages
Harriet Moore
August 17, 2013
Digital Edition
January 2, 2014
Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.

Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.

I LOVE this excerpt! The prose is just wonderful, smoothly describing the two characters' fluid dance movements. It seems that the society described in the book is a rather conservative one, judging from the reaction of Marcus's father to the dance with Anita. Just from this short excerpt, I can see that both Anita and Marcus are rebels at heart, and are intent on defying their society's rules.
The dance itself is vividly described, and I love how the two participants enthusiastically throw themselves into it!
The prose is beautiful, and I get a VERY romantic feeling from this excerpt. In short, I really MUST make this novel part of my collection!

After three, enormous courses and a significant quantity of various types of wine, Anita decided it was time to open the dancing. In line with tradition, there would be no announcement, but Anita and Marcus would take to the floor at a time of their choosing, throwing a signal to the band and surprising the audience by launching into their dance.

Anita reached over and took Marcus's hand under the table. She inclined her head in the direction of the open space between the banquet tables, and he smiled in agreement. He led Anita around the top table, waving to the band as they passed. The band immediately sprang into life, striking up a jaunty number, and the room quietened in expectant anticipation. Anita could hardly contain her excitement. She loved to dance, and, leaving Marcus by the edge of the tables, she spun her way to the middle of the floor. Marcus ran after her and caught her just as she stopped spinning, leant her backwards seductively, then restored her to an upright position in a slow, fluid, silky movement. They smiled at each other as they came back face to face, each reminded of their dance on the cliff, before Marcus almost violently spun Anita out and back in again. They tangoed around the floor, paying no attention to their audience, who watched open-mouthed at the display. They had all expected a polite waltz to start proceedings, and certainly no one had expected this.

After a couple of minutes of the borderline inappropriate spectacle, complete with too much body contact, a number of improper looks, and all topped off by the suggestive backing track, the others eligible to join the first dance got up and made their way to the floor. All except Austin, whose face was like thunder as he watched his son's embarrassing exhibition with the girl he was beginning to hate. Marcus and Anita finished their opener with a flourish, Marcus spinning Anita around so they were back to back before lifting her high on his shoulders, her arms outstretched. He spun several times before letting her slide back to the floor, having masterfully positioned them to join the set laid out by the others in preparation for the formal dancing. He kissed her hand racily and threw her one last risqué look as they took their places.  

Purchase Links

Print & Kindle Editions

Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK -- to Dorset -- shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don't understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.

Then there was Scotland: stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she'd never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.

At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in Lycra, training 6 days a week, and competing at events around the country.

After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St. Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the 'people' elements of her course, and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think). She worked as a Project Manager on large change programmes before founding her own consultancy in 2015.

Harriet now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and daughter Atia. When she isn't writing, editing, eating, running around after her toddler, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a Springer Spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.

To access the complete tour schedule, please click on the button below!

Book Blogger Hop No. 85: Multiple Narrators

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

How do you feel about books
with multiple narrators?

(Submitted  by Eli @ 

My Answer

This is a very interesting question!  Books featuring multiple narrators are not all that common. I certainly haven't read that many; in fact, I've only read one, as far as I can recall. However, I've seen them on the blogosphere, whether on other blogs, Amazon, or Goodreads.

I really do like this technique, but only if it's done in a very skillful manner. Not every writer can handle it. The thing is, an author has to be able to "speak" in different voices. Unfortunately, I think that some writers might have difficulty achieving this, and thus, all of their characters tend to "sound" the same.

Back in 2012, I read three books from a series titled "Heven and Hell" (no, this is not a typo), by the paranormal and YA author, Cambria Hebert. The first book, Masquerade, tells the story through four different narrators. I found this entirely satisfactory, and not distracting at all. Hebert was able to create very distinctive personalities for each of these narrators, so that I knew when each of them was telling the story. Of course, it helped that each one had their own section of the book. Still, I found it very easy to experience the story from each of these different viewpoints.

Here's a quote from my review of this novel:

"Hebert's story is highly original and unique.   For one thing, she has four different narrators telling the story: Heven, Sam, The Hate, and The Hope. The last two are supernatural beings, but their identity is not revealed until much later in the novel.   I especially like the idea of contrasting these two.  It's amazing to see how an evil being twists the events taking place into something utterly depraved, while the same events, seen from the perspective of a good being, take on a shining beauty.  Furthermore, using these two narrators has the effect of drawing the reader along, turning pages to find out, among other things, just who and what these narrators are."

As you can see, I thought this author was highly succesful in creating a story in which multiple narrators did indeed work. Although I haven't read any other books where this technique is used, I would definitely be open to doing so! Again, in the right hands, this would make a story not only more complex, and thus, more interesting, but also more compelling, as the reader would be eager to find out how these various viewpoints all tie in to the grand scheme of the story.

I think I'll seek out more books whose authors employ this technique. In my honest opinion, it's well worth it!

You can read my entire review of Masquerade, by Cambria Hebert, HERE.

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tour Spotlight/Giveaway!! Bound Souls, by N.D. Jones

Welcome to the Bound Souls 
Blog Tour, sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

For my post, I'm featuring a mini-review 
and excerpt.
There's also a tour-wide giveaway!!

Bound Souls
(Forever Yours, Book 1)
N.D. Jones
Trade Paperback
Digital Edition
255 pages
Kuumba Publishing
February 11, 2017
Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction

A supernatural love triangle that tests the bounds of science, truth, and faith.

Regent Lela of Asiya is the most powerful person on her planet but she is powerless to save the life of her beloved soulmate—Zion Grace. For thirty years they lived as husband and wife, but Zion’s time is at an end. Lela must go on without him.

“There will never be anyone else for me.”

Despite having died, nothing can keep Zion from his soulmate. He’s back but not as the man he once was. Zion must help Lela move on with her life, lest he lose her forever. But how can Zion convince Lela to accept the love and affections of another man when he still wants her for himself?

“I love you, Lela. My heart is forever yours.”

Lela and Zion are bound souls, destined to live eternity together. For these lovers, death is not an end, but a fateful beginning.

I just LOVE this excerpt! It's tender, sweet, poignant, and really lets us know who these characters are. I already feel as if they're friends!  I like Zion, as well as Lela. I love how he adores his wife, and how she adores him. Okay, this might sound cheesy, but heck, I'm a diehard romantic, so I really go for well-written romance, and this one DEFINITELY fits the bill!
I also like the writing style. It's just perfect for what the author is trying to express. She gives readers just enough details to make them want to know more. And her prose flows. It really does. I could get lost in this book! That's why I'm ordering my own paperback copy of this one!

It was true, Zion had only three more years left on his thirty-year life extension. He was tired and felt even more so as the days, weeks, months and years crept by. Zion spared a sidelong glance at his wife, whose head was down, eyes closed and hand still fiercely gripping his own. She wasn't ready for the ride to end either, yet they both knew it was slowing, preparing to grind to its final halt and he would have to disembark, leaving her behind.

This thing with Ammon had eaten away at Zion for the last several months. Yet Ammon was simply an outlet for his own anger, fear, and depression. He was growing older, his hair thinner and grayer, and his stomach… well, let's just say he'd had to use the services of a good seamstress over the years. Yet Lela was still as beautiful and fit as when they'd first met.

Zion didn't begrudge Lela her slow aging or fine, alluring features. In fact, he loved that about her. What did bother him was that other men could see what he saw. Everything about Lela exuded intelligence, grace, dignity, strength, and beauty. Zion learned a long time ago, she could never see herself the way others did, especially men.

While Zion rarely entertained jealous thoughts before or cared much when he caught a male giving Lela an approving look, now he saw nothing but. Under the circumstances, the little signs of masculine appreciation for his beautiful wife enraged him.

"I'm sorry," Zion spoke into the quiet breach, lifting Lela’s chin with his bruised hand.

Tears flooded her eyes. Even wet, they were still the most stunning eyes he’d ever seen. "Picasso marble," Zion thought the first time she’d looked at him—a combination of black, brown, gray, and white. Back then, they’d sparkled with intelligence and curiosity, now they glistened with pain. Lela wasn't ready for this conversation. How could she be?

"No, it's me who should apologize. I thought you were paranoid, seeing things that didn't exist."

"I acted like a jackass, a Neanderthal, damn near dragging you out of the banquet room before the function was over. Hell, I might as well have hoisted you over my shoulder and beat my chest like a caveman."

He rubbed his thumb across her right cheek, then lips. "You're an incredible woman, Lela." Zion paused, nearly biting his tongue on his next words. The ones his selfish heart screamed at him to not utter. "You'll live for a long time, probably another four or five decades. I only have three years left. For an Asiyan, you'll be in your prime when I pass on.” His voice cracked when the held tears dropped from his wife’s eyes. She knew where he was going with this, Zion realized.

"You'll have to go on without me, and I don't want you to spend the next fifty years by yourself."

"I won't be by myself. I'll have Xavier." Lela pushed off the bed and moved away from him. She walked to the window, refusing to acknowledge the true meaning of his words.

Zion followed, watching her stern but sad image in the window. Needing to touch and reassure her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled Lela to him.

"The thought of another man being this close to you," Zion whispered, stirring tendrils of her long hair, "makes me want to commit murder. When I heard Ammon offering for you, it took all of my self-control to not take a laser gun to him. The only thing I kept thinking was that he couldn't have you. That you're mine and mine alone."

"Is that why you've been so angry these past few months?" She turned in his arms, then rested her head against his resilient shoulder.

"Yes, and something else."

"What else?"

Zion lifted her chin, compelling her to meet his eyes.

"I didn't want to acknowledge how selfish I was being," he said, leaning down and placing a warm, soft kiss on her lips. "I want you to be happy in those four or five decades you have left, Lela, but I don't want you to find happiness in the arms of another man."

"I have no desire to mate with anyone else, or to take a lover," she reassured, initiating another kiss, a desperate embrace full of a wife's integrity and denial. "I can't imagine being with anyone other than you. I love you, Zion. I could never love another."

He knew she spoke the truth. He believed her, but she didn't understand. Zion did. He'd experienced the loss of a spouse.

"When Iman died, a part of me died with her. Like you, I thought there would never be anyone else for me. And that was true for a long time—”

Lela shook her head in protest, not allowing Zion to continue. "Don't." A heartbreaking plea. "Don't say such things. There will never be anyone else for me."

Zion saw the near panic in her upturned face, her Picasso marble eyes glowing with resolution and despair.

"It's not the same. It just isn't."

It was exactly the same. Yes, what he felt for Iman was different from the love he had for Lela. But it was love all the same. Loving Lela didn't mean Iman ceased to occupy a special place in his heart and mind. A small, warm piece of her and their life together would always be a part of him. As he would always be a part of Lela, but she couldn't see it, not now. But someday. Zion didn't want to think about that and clearly, neither did his wife.

Purchase Links

Print Edition
Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Digital Edition
Amazon/Barnes & Noble

N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. Having earned an M.A. in Political Science, she is a dedicated educator. She taught high school Social Studies and served as Chair of the Social Studies Department. Currently, she is a Professional Development Teacher Specialist with a local Maryland school system, working on increasing student achievement through teacher and administrator efficacy. She is a lifelong learner, pursuing her doctorate in Community College Leadership.

She is the founder of Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook, and paperback company. Kuumba Publishing is a forum for creativity, with a special commitment to promoting and encouraging creative works of authors and artists of African descent. Her teenage daughter created the image design for Kuumba Publishing, while her son has written a role playing game original character bio for a new paranormal romance series--making Kuumba Publishing a true family affair.

A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. She's also embarked on a science fiction romance series, Forever Yours. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.


To access the complete tour schedule, just click on the button below!!